the name of the Lord Jesus?; <490107>Ephesians 1:7 ? ?in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.?
This acquittal is not to be conceived of as the sovereign act of a Governor but rather as a judicial procedure. Christ secures a new trial for those already condemned ? a trial in which he appears for the guilty and sets over against their sin his own righteousness or rather, shows them to be righteous in him. C. H. M.: ?When Balak seeks to curse the seed of Abraham, it is said of Jehovah: ?He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel? ( <042321>Numbers 23:21). When Satan stands forth to rebuke Joshua, the word is: ?Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan...is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?? ( <380302>Zechariah 3:2). Thus he ever puts himself between his people and every tongue that would accuse them. ?Touch not mine anointed ones,? he says, ?and do my prophets no harm? (Psalm 405:15). ?It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth??? ( <450833>Romans 8:33, 34).? It is not sin then that condemns; it is the failure to ask pardon for sin, through Christ. Illustrate by the ring presented by Queen Elizabeth to the Earl of Essex. Queen Elizabeth did not forgive the penitent Countess of Nottingham for withholding the ring of Essex, which would have purchased his pardon. She shook the dying woman and cursed her even while she was imploring forgiveness. There is no such failure of mercy in God?s administration.
Kaftan, in Am. Jour. Theology, 4:698 ? ?The peculiar characteristic of Christian experience is the forgiveness of sins, or reconciliation ? a forgiveness which is conceived as an unmerited gift of God, which is bestowed on man independently of his own moral worthiness. Other religions have some measure of revelation but Christianity alone has the clear revelation of this forgiveness and this is accepted by faith. And forgiveness leads to a better ethics than any religion of works can show.?
(a) Justification is more than remission or acquittal. These would leave the sinner simply in the position of a discharged criminal, law requires a positive righteousness also. Besides deliverance from punishment, justification implies God?s treatment of the sinner as if he was and had been, personally righteous. The justified person receives not only remission of penalty but the rewards promised to obedience.
<421522> Luke 15:22-24 ? ?Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring the fatted
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